Diabetic? Improve Your Health With A Healthy Smile!

Diabetes is defined as “a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.” It is a metabolic disease characterized by the body’s inability to properly secrete or manage insulin. This results in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Diabetes is a leading cause of death due to vascular complications attributed to the disease.

The prevalence of diabetes has increased dramatically over the past few decades and is expected to triple in the next decade. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared diabetes to be at a pandemic level. A report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health states that diabetes is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.” 

The most common types of diabetes are type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin-dependent). According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes with initial symptoms emerging after age 45. Early indications of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums.

For those in the medical and scientific field, seeing early signs of diabetes in the form of oral problems is typical even though the general public rarely associates one with the other. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. Other inflammatory diseases (such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and coronary artery disease) have been linked to gum disease by numerous research studies.

Not only is periodontal disease said to be the 6th greatest complication of diabetes, research has shown that one tends to trigger the other. Gum disease has been found to occur more frequently and with greater severity in diabetics with poor glycaemic control. Proper management of diabetes for controlled glucose levels has been shown to be helpful in preventing or treating periodontal disease.

Symptoms of gum disease include gums that bleed when brushing, frequent bad breath, gum recession that expose dark tooth root sections) and tender and swollen gums. As gum disease progresses, gums will turn red in color, pus pockets will form at the base of teeth and teeth will loosen. Eventually teeth will need removing.

While it is important for all to be aware of  the signs or gum disease, diabetics, especially, should be as proactive as possible when it comes to their oral health due to their  particular vulnerability to inflammation in the body. For our patients who have diabetes, we advise having a dental check-up every 3-4 months.

If you have diabetes, please arrange a periodontal examination at your earliest convenience. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment. And remember, gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Delayed care often results in more treatment time and greater expense. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles if you have questions or to begin with a free Consultation to discuss your symptoms and oral health.

All-On-4 Dental Implants Growing In Popularity

There are a number of reasons that adults are now choosing Dental Implants to replace missing teeth. Designed to last a lifetime, the advantages of Dental Implants are many. They are the closest thing to the natural teeth you once had, restoring the ability to bite and chew without worry.

For those who wear a full denture (on top, bottom or both), Dental Implants are even more ideal. Since an implant is not needed for each tooth, 6 or 8 implants can often be used to secure a full arch of teeth. Because the cost of implants is generally based on the number placed, this helps to keep treatment within reach for many individuals.

One sticking point with some Dental Implant prospects has been the issue of removable versus non-removable teeth. The more affordable systems have typically been those designed with removable teeth. For some, removable teeth, although firmly secured to the implants, are too similar to the denture they had – and detested. Memories of having to remove their denture and soak it in a glass all night is anything but desirable.

Modern dentistry has now developed a method that overcomes this, yet keep treatment within an affordable range — All On 4. The All On 4 implant system is designed to support non-removable teeth, often on just 4 implants. By placing the implanted portions at unique angles, they can better distribute the force of biting and chewing on fewer implants.

All-On-4 Dental Implant System
All-On-4 Dental Implant System

Another advantage of All On 4 is their ability to be placed in minimal bone. This is good news for people who are long-time denture wearers. Many have experienced a great deal of bone loss from the pressure of the denture on their upper or lower arch. Often, they are told they do not have enough bone to support Dental Implants. All On 4’s design overcomes this obstacle.

The type of Dental Implant best suited for you can be determined after an examination and review of digital ‘x-ray’ images. Begin with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss your individual situation and I’ll answer your questions thoroughly. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.

Sleep Apnea Can Affect Sex Life

In this day and age, it’s not unusual for busy couples to be too tired for sex some nights. However, for more than 12 million American adults who suffer with sleep apnea, sleep disruption can lead to a much more complicated obstacle to a couple’s sex life.

Feeling tired and sleepy throughout the day are typical symptoms of sleep apnea, and can lead to weight gain and depression. Yet, the necessary periods of REM sleep are what give a boost to sex hormones. Insufficient sleep seems to decrease these levels, which is a major factor in one’s sex drive.

One study compared 80 women with sleep apnea to 240 women without sleep apnea. All study participants were age 65 and over. The results showed that sleep apnea sufferers had dramatically higher rates of sexual dysfunction.

A prior study included over 400 men who had been seen for suspected sleep apnea. Of those who were diagnosed with the condition, nearly 70% had erectile dysfunction compared with 34% for men without sleep apnea.

It has been noted that patients who undergo surgery to correct abnormalities that contribute to apnea see improvements in intimacy. Those who start CPAP therapy also report an increase in sexual relationships. Unfortunately, an estimated 22% of those prescribed with CPAP are consistent users.

CPAP isn’t for everyone. Many CPAP users complain about feeling claustrophobic, encumbered and are bothered by the noise. For adults with mild to moderate sleep apnea, the solution may be a simple, FDA-approved oral appliance.

These mouth pieces are custom designed so they are comfortable and won’t interfere with your sleep. They are easy to use and effective for many levels of sleep apnea and heavy snoring (often a precursor to sleep apnea).

Sleep apnea is nothing to ignore, regardless of your libido. It has been associated with a  number of serious health problems including weight gain and obesity, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, migraines and impotency.

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more about overcoming sleep apnea and regaining a full and healthy lifestyle! Or, schedule a no-cost, no obligation consultation. During this time, I’ll answer your questions so you can determine if this is right for you.


Foods That Are NOT Smile-Friendly

We all want to eat a healthy diet. But, we all indulge occasionally. This is not a bad thing, but some of these indulgences can put you at a higher risk for time and treatment costs to repair the damage they can do to your smile.

Consumables that have a higher potential to damage teeth and increase your risk for gum disease include:

• Citrus & highly-acidic foods and beverages: Adding lemon or lime to our drinking water may seem healthy, but the acidity in citrus (including oranges, grapefruit, etc.) can erode tooth enamel. This leaves them more susceptible to decay. And, it’s not just tart-tasting fruits that come with this risk. Tomatoes or tomato-based foods (spaghetti sauce, catsup, BBQ sauce, etc.) have a highly acidic effect on tooth enamel.

• Wine: Many people are surprised to see wine on this list. Wine is supposed to be good for you in a number of ways. It is, but the way it is consumed creates a particular problem for your teeth. Anytime you eat or drink, your mouth undergoes an acid attack. This is actually the first stage of your digestive process. However, this acid can soften tooth enamel, leaving it more vulnerable to decay. Sipping wine over a period of time means that the mouth has a long, drawn-out surge of this acid. Coupled with the acidity of wine, you get a double-whammy that puts teeth at a higher risk for decay.

• Sugar & Carbs: Americans over-consume sugar-laden treats and tend to be carbohydrate lovers. Oral bacteria love these foods because they super-charge their ability to reproduce. And, because many of these foods stick to teeth longer, their damage potential is much higher.

Coffee Cup• Caffeine: Caffeinated beverages include coffee, tea, colas, and many energy drinks. Even those without sugar do your smile no good. The reason? Caffeine dries out oral tissues in the mouth. With a drier mouth, oral bacteria are not being rinsed out of the mouth efficiently. This creates an environment where they can breed and thrive more readily. And, bacterial growth is the source of the majority of problems in the mouth. The next time you sense bad breath when your mouth is dry, remember that it’s because oral bacteria are running rampant.

• Alcohol: While not caffeinated, alcoholic beverages are also drying to oral tissues.

• Snacks: As mentioned prior, every time you eat or drink, an acid attack begins in the mouth. Thus, every time you sip on a cola or pop a pretzel in your mouth, this is what occurs. When your mouth is undergoing continual acid attacks throughout the day, imagine the damage that can have on your precious tooth enamel.

My belief is this: Once people know what is bad for their smiles, it may trigger a little voice in the back of their minds that says, “You know, that cola isn’t doing your smile any favors.” Then, they are able to take proactive measures to prevent costly repairs. These include:

   –  Wait to brush: After eating or drinking, wait 20-30 minutes so the acid attack in your mouth subsides. Otherwise, the abrasiveness of your tooth brush or tooth paste can wear down tooth enamel.

   –  Rinse with water: In between each cup of coffee or glass of wine, drink some water and let it wash over teeth before swallowing. If possible, swish with water in the bathroom.

   –  Combine sweets with meals: Want a Snickers or cupcake? Rather than eat them as snacks, have them as dessert immediately following your meal. Since your mouth is already undergoing an acid attack, this merely prolongs it a bit rather than sparks a new one.

   –  Brush, floss and maintain regular dental check-ups: Daily home care and regular dental cleanings and exams are your best ways to prevent problems from occurring.

Our goal is to help you REDUCE your need for dental repairs! Begin with an examination so, together, we can help you achieve and maintain a confident, healthy smile. Call 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.


Affordable Ways To A More Beautiful Smile!

Most people have a specific event coming up in their lives that prompts them to ‘go for it’ when it comes to smile enhancements. For some, it’s a class reunion or a loved one’s wedding. Some patients share that they are back in the dating scene while others are preparing for a special birthday.

Yes, smiles surround many memorable times in our lives. There are many reasons to have our smile look its best, which tends to provide a boost both inside and out. Not only does a smile have a significant affect on your overall facial appearance, feeling good about smiling causes people to smile more often.

An added bonus is that smiling triggers the release of a brain chemical known as Endorphins. This chemical effects mood, in a good way! It’s your ‘natural high,’ and all it takes is a smile! Research has even shown that smiling when you don’t feel like it has the same effect.DrB Pt Mirror copy

Unfortunately, people who have teeth that are discolored or flaws such as chips, breaks, decay or crooked teeth cause people to hold back on smiling fully. Many will conceal their smile with a hand or smile with lips only.

Sharing a full, exuberant smile projects a happy, confident individual. And, apparently, simply makes us feel good inside and out! While some smile enhancement procedures are more costly than others, your smile’s appearance can be greatly improved with very affordable options as well .

  • Whitening: Whitening teeth tends to conceal flaws and give the appearance of a healthy, well maintained smile. While drug store whitening kits are easy to use, the degree of whitening they give is fairly minor – and short-lived. Because these temporary lighteners are needed more frequently, the investment you make can end up being quite a sum. In our office, we offer the Zoom 2 Whiting System. This gives an in-office degree of whitening that takes about an hour. It provides a much more effective whitening that will last a long time.
  • Bonding: While the ideal option for reshaping teeth is porcelain (crowns or veneers), bonding is a durable, appealing way to correct flaws without the expense. Bonding material is applied to teeth to repair chips, breaks or gaps. In some cases, it can lengthen teeth or even out crooked angles. Shade matching will provide you with a natural look that blends well with surrounding teeth.
  • Porcelain Veneers: For teeth that show most in a smile, porcelain veneers are the ‘gold standard’ of smile enhancement options. They are durable, require minimal disruption to your natural tooth and have excellent longevity. Best of all, however, each veneer is custom-created to give you the look you want with a highly-natural look and feel. Only you (and me!) will know you weren’t born with your beautiful smile!
  • Cleaning & Polishing: When a mouth hasn’t received sufficient at-home care or regular dental cleanings, it shows. Regardless of the shape or shade of your teeth, a smile that looks clean and healthy is an asset to facial appearance. A clean mouth also promotes fresh breath. When oral bacteria are at minimal levels, being close to others is easy when you know your breath reflects your high oral hygiene standards.

To learn the benefits of aesthetic dentistry, visit: http://www.banrbarbatdds.com/cosmetic.php for a summary of today’s options. I am also available to discuss your smile and potential fees. Call to request a no-cost, no-obligation consultation appointment. We’ll be happy to explain payment options that are interest-free with no down payment required.

So, enjoy your class reunion or your daughter’s wedding with a smile you are elated to share! By projecting confidence and joy, you’ll show your best – from the inside out! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.